The new US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said today at the headquarters of the international body that her country will show strength in international affairs. She also delivered blunt warnings from the Trump administration. The former governor of South Carolina told UN the media before meeting Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, "For those who don't have our backs: we're taking names." Haley said, "We will make points to respond to that accordingly."
"Our goal with the administration is to show value at the UN, and the way that we will show value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies and make sure that our allies have our back as well," she said. Haley presented her diplomatic credential today to Guterres, who is also new to his position.
Her arrival comes as rumors circulate that President Trump is contemplating a drastic cut in US funding to the United Nations. The biggest donor to the UN is the United STates, which forks over 22 percent of its operating budget and funds 28 percent of peacekeeping missions, which currently cost $7.8 billion annually.
Haley (45) said she looks forward to reform at the UN and said there will be funding cuts. "This is a time of strength. This is a time of action. This is a time of getting things done," Haley said.
"Everything that is working, we are going to make it better. Everything that is not working we are going to try and fix. Everything that seems to be obsolete and not necessary, we're going to do away with," she said.
In an earlier speech, the president was dismissive of the UN, which was founded with considerable US backing in the wake of WW2. He referred to it as "just a club for people to get together and have a good time." Relations with the incoming president worsened after the Security Council, in the waning days of the Obama administration, adopted a resolution that demands that Israel must end settlement construction. Barack Obama failed to use the US veto power to block the resoluton. Trump has promised that “things will be different" at the United Nations under his administration.
Haley said, "You are going to see a change in the way we do business. It's no longer about working harder but working smarter."
Secretary-General Guterres is also said to be pushing for change at the UN.